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Blind dates real eye-openers

Date: 2007-01-08

The difference between blind dates in this millennium and in the last, is that a couple of years ago your date was usually screened by mutual friends.

These days, the only recommendation you are likely to have is from what Buckboy had to say in the Internet chatroom. Or a random computerised selection by a dating agency.And the difference shows. The sad thing that emerges is that in 99 percent of cases, you leave at the end of the evening only more sure of what you are looking for and this wasn’t it.

There are things that can quickly alert you to the fact that this is not the one for you.

Dressed to depress. Inappropriate clothing for the event or venue should alert you to the fact that maybe this one is not too hot in reading social cues. Jeans to a black tie event or sequins to a family restaurant would both fall into this category.

Better never than late. There is nothing worse than waiting endlessly for your blind date. There is no excuse for this, short of a hijack and serious injury. It is already a tense situation as is, and being late just adds to the general anxiety levels.

Self-centred saga. Do you feel you have been abused as a wailing wall? Did you emerge from the evening able to write a detailed biography of your blind date, but he never even asked where you grew up or what you did for a living? Hit the road. You and your concerns will always be secondary to this person.

Trial by table manners. Admittedly, most people sometimes err in this. If you are having a burger in front of the TV, your manners may leave something to be desired, but at least you know how to switch on the charm when it is necessary. If she doesn’t wait for your food to arrive before she starts eating, and treats the fork more like a forklift – can you imagine what things are going to be like behind closed doors?

Freebie fantasia. If you get the feeling that your date assumes you are going to pay and is therefore ordering all the most expensive things on the menu, don’t make a second date. You as a person is the last of his/her considerations.

Potting previous partners. Dishing the dirt on previous partners is simply bad form. What will this person say about you the minute you are out of the room? And do you really want to know how his wife cheated on him or how her husband ran off with his secretary, all her money or her sense of self? Do you want to get involved with anyone who has more problems than you do?

Weird, without being wacky. When your blind date starts acting weirdly, such as telling you she is controlled by voices from Mars, or that he was abducted by aliens in a previous life, or that she gets a kick out of stalking her ex-husband, it’s time for you to go. There are enough weirdos out there anyway – it isn’t necessary to invite trouble home.

Waitress wobbly. Some people just cannot resist making suggestive remarks to the waiter or the waitress. This is both rude to you and offputting in the extreme, as they are behaving as if the person serving their table is item no. 37 on the menu. In short, this is creepy behaviour and not something you want to have to deal with again.

The wayward wallet. Aah, the oldest trick in the book. When it comes to paying, the blind date goes through all the motions of looking for the wallet, which has been stolen, fallen out of his pocket, in his other jacket – whatever. The outcome is the same – you end up paying for everything.

No, no, please go. This is where the blind date starts being pushy and making assumptions, such as that he or she is going home with you, or that you are going to hand over your telephone number. Or even worse, that you are now involved with them. Hit the road – when people are presumptuous like this, they can’t read social signals and could become a pest later on.

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